I’ve been so happy to see slow cooker recipes everywhere I look. I grew up eating meals my mom prepared in her trusty slow cooker for Sunday dinners and throughout the week. I have also used mine on a weekly, and sometimes daily basis. I’m not a fan of recipes using canned soup as the base. There are healthier ways to use a slow cooker and have a delicious meal without the use of canned soup or other shortcut ingredients. (Can you tell I’m opinionated about that? ‘Cause I am.)
We love curry at our house, but as a busy work-at-home-mom I don’t always have time to spend standing at the stove. I’ve come up with a quick and easy slow cooker chicken curry that only takes a few minutes to put together. It’s mild in flavor, making it a great one for kids. I have added a little coconut milk, but you could also use light cream. Don’t use yogurt or milk here — the long cooking time and heat will cause it to curdle. You can also leave out the coconut milk or cream for a lighter version, but it does make the sauce thicker and more flavorful.
Another shortcut I use here is curry powder. I usually like to make my own, but every so often it’s nice to pull out the prepared curry powder and use that instead. Use the kind you like best; just keep in mind that curry powders are not created equal! Some are very spicy and others are pretty mild. That’s why I direct to prepare the sauce separately, taste and adjust as needed, then add to the slow cooker. I say “curry powder,” but you could use other spice blends like garam masala. Just start with less and add more to taste.
The peas go in last so they don’t cook to mush. I like using frozen petite peas which cook quickly in the residual heat of the slow cooker. I just add them a few minutes before serving.
I’ve used chicken thighs here, but you could also use chicken breasts. I think the thighs withstand the longer cooker time and they are more flavorful, which is why I like to use them. Feel free to substitute sweet potatoes for the red potatoes or even diced butternut squash.
Slow Cooker Chicken Curry
1 – 1 1/2 pounds chicken thighs, cut into 1″ cubes
1 pound red or another waxy potato, cut into 1″ cubes
One 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
3/4 cup light cream or coconut milk
1 small onion, diced
1 Tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1-2 Tablespoons curry powder (see note)
1/2 teaspoon salt
juice of 1 lemon, optional
1 cup peas
4-6 cups hot cooked rice, for serving
1. Have a slow cooker ready to go. Place chicken and potatoes into the slow cooker.
2. Mix tomatoes, cream (or coconut milk), onion, ginger, curry powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Taste and add more curry powder if necessary. (Remember that it will taste a little salty, but it will be seasoning the potatoes and chicken, so it’s okay.)
3. Pour the sauce over the chicken and potatoes. Place lid on slow cooker and turn to low or high. Cook for 2 1/2 to 3 hours on high and 5-6 on low.
4. Before serving, add the lemon juice, if desired, and peas. (The peas will cook from the residual heat.)
5. Serve with hot cooked rice.
Yield: 4-6 servings